Kalyn Ponga is poised to return from a hamstring issue this week.

The nib Newcastle Knights travel to North Queensland to play the Cowboys on Friday and according to coach Nathan Brown, the fullback is ready to return from injury.

"He should play," Brown told the Sunday Footy Show.

"He probably could've played at a real push this week bur he did a tough session at the captains run and (the training staff) are expecting he should play."


IF YOU'RE READING ON THE APP AND WANT TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST - CLICK HERE!

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here!


Meanwhile, Sione Mata'utia has spoken for the first time since suffering a fractured eye socket in Newcastle's win over Parramatta two weeks ago.

On the mend, the centre is due to have a follow-up with the specialist but is expecting to return to action before the season is over.

Brown presser Rd 19: Standout troops and going back-to-back

Sign up for a free NRL Account to access this video and other exclusive content.

Already have an NRL Account?

Not sure? Learn more about NRL Account


"It's a different one," Mata'utia told KOFM of his injury.

"It's behind the eye, above it. The bones that are sort of a bit fragile in there and easy to break.

"Thankfully it's a lot more positive than we were thinking. Hopefully in the next two or three weeks I'll be back instead of six weeks."

While the centre is sidelined for a handful of weeks, he's relieved the injury is not concussion related.

Having head a horror run with head knocks last year, Mata'utia has taken the latest set-back in his strides.

KNIGHTS NUMBERS: ROSS DOG RUNS RIOT, BARNETT'S BLOCKBUSTER

KNIGHTS RISE IN NAIL BITER TO KNOCK OFF TITANS


"No doubt in the backrow last year, a lot more workload and fatigue comes in pretty quickly," he said.

"At times I struggled with my fitness, therefore technique goes That may have been a cause to plenty of my concussions.

"I'm glad it wasn't a concussion. That was probably why I was stressed when I came off.

"It's worked out positive in the end. I've had a week off, we'll reassess my eye and hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later."


Injured players and expected return dates:

Tautau Moga (ACL, Season)

Slade Griffin (Knee, Season)

Jacob Saifiti (Shoulder, Round 22-23)

Sione Mata'utia (Fractured eye socket, Round 22)

Kalyn Ponga (Hamstring, Round 19)